Last year, Amazon decreed that it would direct-sell no print-on-demand books that weren't printed by its POD subsidiary, BookSurge.
The change in policy sent small publishers and POD self-publishing services, many of which used rival digital printer Lightning Source, into a frenzy of alarm. In order to sell their books on Amazon, they'd either have to enter into parallel relationships with BookSurge, or use Amazon's Advantage program. Storms of protest ensued. Amazon refused to budge.
Most publishers and publishing services eventually came to an agreement with Amazon. Not self-publishing service BookLocker, however. In May 2008, its owners, Angela and Richard Hoy, filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, alleging violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
In July 2008, Amazon filed a motion to dismiss. But yesterday (August 26, 2009) Chief U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. denied that motion. This means that the BookLocker suit is free to proceed.
Richard Hoy provides details at the lawsuit website. "Among other steps," he says, "we anticipate beginning discovery (where we are able to request documents from Amazon) shortly. Although there is still a long way to go, surviving the motion to dismiss is an important first step."
Judge Woodcock's ruling can be seen here.
Publishers Weekly has coverage.